Make no mistake, when winning or losing on one issue or another becomes more important than representing Christ well via social media, demonstrating the fruits of the Spirit in civil discourse, or remembering that we have been called to make disciples of all men (Republicans and Democrats, alike), Christ is not honored.
For more than twelve years I have been helping others to see what has long been overlooked, otherwise missed, or outright ignored in the New Testament: namely, the biblical mandate of the multi-ethnic church as envisioned by Jesus Christ (John 17:20-23), described by Luke (Acts 11:19-26; 13:1), and prescribed by the Apostle Paul throughout his writings, most specifically in Romans and Ephesians. Needless to say such teaching, though exegetically sound, is not readily embraced by an Evangelical establishment more enamored by size and growth than with diversity and holistic community engagement.
On Wednesday, Dr. Ken Hutcherson, founding pastor of Antioch Bible Church in Kirkland, WA, passed through the gates of glory after a more than ten year battle with cancer. What you may not know is that Ken played a major role in the formation of the vision, and ultimately the church that Linda and I planted in 2001: the Mosaic Church of Central Arkansas.
To be clear, I do not believe the church is dying. However, I have no doubt that the local church and its message of God's love for all people has been severely weakened by more than 40 years of misunderstanding and misapplication of what is known as the Homogeneous Unit Principle (HUP).
The fact is the local church at Ephesus was made up of both Jewish and Gentile converts, and thus was multi-ethnic (Acts 19:8–17; 20:21). Indeed, biblical evidence does not support the notion of a homogeneous church at Ephesus. With this in mind, the theme of Paul's letter to the Ephesians can be stated as follows: the unity of the church for the sake of the Gospel.
So, let's ask the question again. After the verdict, can America's racial rift(s) be healed? In a word: perhaps. But not unless local church pastors, planters and denominational leaders, throughout this country take seriously the need to address systemic segregation within their own local congregations.